Year 6 have just returned from their annual residential trip; an awe-inspiring week in the Lake District with the Real Adventure team.
The Langdale YHA, nestling in the hills, was home for four days and was a sight for sore eyes after a long coach journey.
The children spent the first half of this term preparing themselves for the trip by studying rivers, maps/routes in their Geography lessons and understanding the importance of preserving our outdoor spaces.
The week was action-packed with fun outdoor adventurous activities that certainly challenged the children, pushing them to their limits and testing their skills.
The climbing wall activity was a huge hit. The children were allowed to warm up and stretch in the bouldering room before moving into the main area to scale the heights on the wall itself. Many children reached the top but all were able to proudly say that they climbed past their targets each time they had a go.
Canoeing on Windermere, the largest natural lake in England, was an activity to make you realise just how small we are as the rolling hills and mountains towered above us on all sides. The children powered the canoes up the rivers that feed into Windermere to find a wonderful small beach where they moored up to light the Kelly Kettles and make themselves a well-deserved hot chocolate. After a few fun and games in the canoes, the current helped the boats back onto the lake and safely into the embracing arms of the two jetties where the groups met their mini-buses.
Cathedral Cavern was truly a spectacular sight as all were humbled by the sheer drops and the knowledge that the depth of the water matched the heights of the cliff walls. This is very much an industrial area; a disused slate quarry but all around were spectacular buildings made from the beautiful, grey-green stone.
The river study day was always going to be a test, in so many ways but mainly because this was a full day activity. Groups doubled up to walk the length of a valley that stretched from Grasmere village all the way up to Easedale Tarn, following Easedale Beck. The valley is a perfect site to show 3 stages of a river from a category 1 (from source) to a category 2 (where two 1s join together) to a category 3 (where two 2s join together). From ruler to clinometer, the children were introduced to the complexities of measuring a stream/river properly by getting to grips with real geographical equipment. All agreed that getting feet wet was definitely the best way to learn about Geography!
The Ghyll scrambling activity is a great way to understand the importance of a river by getting in it and feeling the power. Stickle Ghyll is usually a dry ghyll but this year it was showing us its true potential after a few days of rain in the mountains. Carefully planned routes and well-fitting helmets allowed the children to enjoy the scramble safely but to still realise that following instructions was an absolute must. Each child was given a chance to lead the way after listening to the group leaders advice.
The evenings were taken up by teacher-led activities in the YHA sitting room and common room. Mrs Brown, the entertainment coordinator for the trip, brought along the well-known Scattergories and Beetle Drive games for the children to play in teams.
"Both children and staff get so much out of this trip", said Mrs Mason, the group leader. "We see them in a different light and they see us as real human beings, not just their teachers at school. You really do see a change in all of the children as the week goes on, as they grow in confidence and their independence flourishes. Fun was had by all and wonderful memories have been forged. We must thank the Real Adventure team for looking after us so well but most of all the Hill House staff team who quite literally worked their socks off to allow the children to have a fantastic trip towards the end of their time in Junior School".